A dating scan is an ultrasound scan to determine how many weeks pregnant you are and your due date. Read on for more information about what a dating scan offers.
A dating scan might be recommended to confirm your due date if you are unsure of your last menstrual period or your date of conception. It is usually offered to pregnant women from 10 weeks to 13 weeks gestation, but can be carried out any time from 6 weeks.
9 Week Ultrasound
If you have had bleeding during your pregnancy or you have had previous miscarriages , your doctor or midwife may recommend an early dating scan from 6 to 10 weeks gestation. If you choose to have a dating scan, it will most probably be your first scan. You will need to get a referral from your doctor or midwife for a dating scan. A dating scan is carried out by ultrasound.
A sonographer, who is usually a radiographer or a midwife trained in ultrasound, will complete your scan.
If the scan is after 10 weeks, ultrasound recordings are usually made through your abdomen. The sonographer will put gel on your abdomen and move a hand-held device called a transducer, back and forward over your skin. In some situations, such as when the scan is completed before 10 weeks of gestation or you are overweight, you may also need a vaginal scan. Your sonographer will let you know if this is needed.
For an abdominal dating ultrasound, you will need to have a full bladder. You may be asked to drink some water and not go to the toilet beforehand because a full bladder helps to push your womb up to give a better picture. For a vaginal scan, you can have an empty bladder.
This will provide a fairly accurate estimate of how many weeks pregnant you are. But it is important to remember that only a few women go into labour on their due date, so it can be more helpful to think about the month in which you are expecting your baby, rather than the exact day. It can help to sit with your head over a bowl of hot water and place a towel over your head, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
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Your ultrasound schedule will depend a few key factors, including:. Depending on your unique pregnancy, your chosen healthcare professional may schedule an earlier ultrasound at nine weeks for a few different reasons. If this is your first ultrasound, it will give you the opportunity to accurately determine your due date.
Knowing how far along you are in your pregnancy is important. At some point between 11 and 13 weeks your healthcare professional will suggest conducting a Nuchal Translucency NT scan. This scan tests for Down syndrome and for accurate results, you need to know how far along you are. If you have miscarried a previous pregnancy or you have experienced some level of vaginal bleeding over the last nine weeks, you may also be offered an ultrasound. This scan can confirm whether your pregnancy is progressing healthily.
How big is my baby at 9 weeks pregnant?
This ultrasound may be conducted vaginally or externally on your abdomen. Know that if your healthcare professional has officially referred you for an early scan Medicare will cover it. Bring some tissues with you; this can be a very emotional moment.
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